The sister of the 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in 2016 testified Monday that she was troubled that her father’s new girlfriend didn’t seem too concerned the day the teenager went missing.
The former girlfriend Sandra Garcia and her son Mark Anthony Roque are charged with several serious felonies that could land them in prison for the rest of their lives.
Prosecutor Adam Christopherson alleges Garcia wanted her new boyfriend, the Swedish-born executive Johan Gidstedt, all to her self. Her plan was to scare Gildstedt’s two young daughters, 10 and 13, so severely that they would want to live permanently with their mother in Sweden, the prosecutor said.
Gildstedt, who is divorced, met Garcia on Match.com. After several months of dating, Garcia moved in to his 4,400-square-foot, five-bedroom home northeast of Clovis, along with her two sons.
On Feb. 16, 2016, the 13-year-old was taken from her home by four men. She was driven to the foothills and tied to a tree where she was brutally sexually assaulted. Garcia planned for no one to be at the home that day, including herself.
But the younger sister, who is now 19, testified that she woke up that day not feeling well and decided to stay home from school, after speaking to her father who was on a business trip in Oregon. The prosecutor alleges that Garcia at that point had to improvise and demanded that the younger sister come with her to her doctor’s appointment.
After they returned home around 4 p.m., the sister realized that her older sister was still not home and she began to worry. Her sister was normally home by that time and didn’t tell anyone she might be late.
The younger sister called several of her older sister’s friends, but they didn’t know where she was. She talked with Garcia who told her she would be home soon.
“She was really calm and it made me sick to my stomach,” she said.
Christopherson asked if Garcia was doing anything to try and find her sister.
“No,” she replied. “She was just sitting on the couch on her phone.”
The kidnapped sister was found later that day and taken to the hospital for treatment. Along with being sexually assaulted, she also was struck in the face several times.
Although the two sisters are very close, the kidnapped sister did not share the details about the sexual assault until a year later.
Defense attorneys Yan Shrayberman and Woodrow Nichols have made an issue of why the sister didn’t immediately reveal the details of the sexual assault to her family and law enforcement. She testified nearly two weeks ago that she was severely traumatized and couldn’t talk about what happened to her until later.
The trial is expected to continue this week and next in Dept. 74, the courtroom of Judge Alvin Harrell III.
Still to testify is Miguel Carriedo, who was one of Garcia’s co-defendants until he agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Carriedo recorded his conversations with Garcia, his cousin, as they discussed her ideas for how to force the children back to Sweden.
Carriedo pleaded guilty to conspire to commit a crime and torture. Garcia’s other son, Brandon Roque, pleaded no contest to conspire to commit a crime.